Orach Chayim

29 01, 2023

Sous Vide – Tevilat Keilim and Warming Food on Shabbat

January 29th, 2023|Bishul, Kashrut, Orach Chayim, Shabbat, Technology, Tevilat Keilim, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION
New York

Two questions regarding a sous vide:

1) Does it require tevilah?
2) Can it be used to reheat food on Shabbat, assuming it is on and in heated water from Erev Shabbat?

ANSWER

1. It does not require tevilah. It does not come in direct contact with the food (plastic bag and water both intervene). (Shulchan Arukh YD 120:4, Arukh HaShulchan […]

16 01, 2023

Non-Jew Warming Fully Cooked, Dry food in an Oven on Shabbat For Kiddush

January 16th, 2023|Amirah LeGoy, Bishul, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Shabbat|

QUESTION

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Shalom Rav Linzer – what are your thoughts on a gentile putting dry food to warm in an oven for kiddush? I know it’s not usually done but it seems like a d’rabbanan l’tzorech rabim (rabbinic prohibition done for the sake of the community)? The venue my shul meets at (a conservative synagogue) feels that hot plates are a liability.

ANSWER

This is exactly the case dealt with in SA OH 253:5 and […]

16 01, 2023

Eating on Ta’anit Bechorot After a Women’s Siyum Masechet

January 16th, 2023|Orach Chayim, Pesach, Ta'anit Bechorot, Talmud Torah, Women's Torah Learning|

QUESTION

PARIS, FRANCE

Kvod Ha-Rav,
I teach Gmara (Psachim) to a group of women. We plan to make a siyum that we would like to set Erev Pesach. Can the men who will attend consider this siyum as ‘סיום בכורות’ (the siyum of the firstborn) instead of fasting ?

ANSWER
Yes. Women making a siyum on learning equally warrants a seudat mitzvah.

13 01, 2023

Public Hanukkah Candle-lightings

January 13th, 2023|Berakhot, Candle lighting, Chanukah, Moadim, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

CHICAGO, IL

What is the most appropriate way to handle public Hanukkah candle-lighting, that is not in a shul, and that does not fulfill anyone’s obligation? Should we participate in Chabad public lightings? Should we have lightings at a shul Hanukkah party?

ANSWER

I agree with the assumption of your question – that the practice to light in shul with a brakaha is itself a chiddush, and ein lecha bo ela chidusho (i.e. the ruling here cannot be extended to other cases) (not to mention that it might also have greater weight because it is dumya d’beit HaMikdash – analogized to the Beit HaMikdash). […]

16 08, 2022

Tenth Man for Minyan Outside

August 16th, 2022|Minyan, Orach Chayim, Shulchan Arukh, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Rhode Island

We are required to have a security person at the door when the building we daven at is otherwise closed (on Shabbat). For financial reasons, we use rotating volunteers, but sometimes, like for Mincha, we have only ten men. The security person can just barely see into the shul room from the back door of the room where we daven. The last person in the room can barely see them. Can that security person be the tenth, bedieved or lekhatchilah?

ANSWER

Shulchan Arukh (OC 55:14) rules that a tziruf for minyan can be achieved even if a person is outside […]

31 03, 2022

Starting Seder Earlier

March 31st, 2022|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Marriage and Family, Orach Chayim, Pesach, Uncategorized|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

What is the earliest time for the first cup for the start of the seder

ANSWER

I would definitely follow the Gra (Biur HaGra on SA OH 261:2; MB ad. loc., no. 23) here and start as early as 14 minutes after sunset. 

The only reason not to start earlier than tzeit is the Terumat HaDeshen (137) – then paskened by the Shulchan Aruch OC 472:1 – who holds that just as matzah can only be at (full) […]

2 09, 2021

Sephardic Haftarah in Ashkenazic Context

September 2nd, 2021|Keriat HaTorah, Orach Chayim, Shabbat|

QUESTION

Baltimore, MD

Can one adopt the Sephardic custom of haftarah reading for one week to accommodate a bar mitzvah?

ANSWER

I think it should be totally fine, based on Iggerot Moshe OH 1:103. Rav Moshe Feinstein lets a bar mitzvah boy who prepared one haftarah say it another week when Sephardim read that same haftarah, as the bar mitzvah boy wasn’t be able to say it the week of due to another boy’s bar mitzvah.  Since it at was the appropriate […]

30 07, 2021

May a Son Sit on the Women’s Side of the Mechitzah With His Mother Who Has Dementia?

July 30th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Tefillah|

QUESTION

Baltimore, MD

A man would like to sit with his mother in the women’s section because she has severe dementia and cannot sit in shul on her own. A woman from shul can volunteer to sit with her, but the comfort of her son next to her is a significant difference. Can he sit next to his mother?

A man with a physically debilitating sickness has a female aide (not Jewish) who needs to sit next to him in the men’s section. Can she sit next to him?

ANSWER

Many do not view the purpose of a mechitzah as to ensure that there is a barrier between men […]

18 07, 2021

Havdalah on Tisha b’Av By Someone Not Fasting

July 18th, 2021|Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Tisha B'Av - 3 Weeks|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

If someone is not fasting for Tisha b’Av, should they make full Havdalah after Shabbat?

ANSWER

If a person is going to eat on Tisha b’Av because they are sick, they should make Havdalah before they eat, whether that be at night or the next day. It is a full Havdalah, except we don’t do besamim and we don’t say the pesukim before. So it is only the cup, borei me’orei (if making Havdalah Saturday night), and HaMavdil.

שערי תשובה סימן תקנו

עבה”ט וכ’ בר”י בשם תשו’ כנה”ג ח”ב חולה שאוכל בט”ב יבדיל תיכף במוצאי שבת והב”י שם דעתו נוטה קצת שיכול […]

18 07, 2021

Washing off Makeup on Tisha b’Av

July 18th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Tisha B'Av - 3 Weeks|

QUESTION

New York, NY

When Tisha B’Av falls on Sunday, is a person allowed to remove makeup that she was wearing on Shabbat on Tisha B’Av using a wipe?

ANSWER

If the makeup is smudgy, etc., then it is permissible as per Shulchan Arukh OC 554:9. If she just wants to remove it, it is hard to permit. A permissible way would be to wipe it off as much as possible with a dry tissue, and then the rest looks pretty smudgy and dirty, and that can use a wipe.

Finally, it’s not obvious to me that the small amount of moisture on the wipe […]

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